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PCS branch votes for protest on Euro-strike day and urges others to join in
28 October 2012
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A PCS branch has voted to stage a 15 minute protest outside their workplace on the European TUC day of action – and they are urging other civil service workers to join them.

The PCS Defra Southern branch passed the resolution, which calls for 15-minute protests outside all civil service workplaces on 14 November, at its meeting this week.

The branch will now contact other PCS branches in the Whitehall area to urge them to join in and is also calling on PCS nationally to call out civil service workplaces across the country.

Defra PCS members have called the action in protest at the coalitions government’s attempts to rip up civil servants’ terms and conditions – and in solidarity with the unprecedented European general strike that will take place across Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Italy on 14 November.

The strike will unite millions across Europe to protest against austerity, and the European TUC has called on other countries to join in with strikes and protests on that day.

Steve Moorcroft from PCS Defra Southern Branch explained why the motion was passed, saying:

Support for a general strike in this country is widespread, with scores of union conferences and this year’s TUC Congress passing a motion to support the action. It was also a call made by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka and Unite’s Len McCluskey on the 20 October demonstration.

Our branch decided to put their words into action by passing the motion after the brilliant initiative by Coventry HMRC, who took part in a 15-minute walkout to protest the arrival of cabinet minister Francis Maude.

Civil servants are already facing a pay freeze and pension cuts. The government announcement of changes to their terms and conditions will result in increased working hours, reduced leave, reduced sick pay and the prospect of forced moves to any location in the UK.

Other PCS branches are understood to be set to consider similar motions over the next couple of weeks.

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anna owens PCS branch secretary euston r&c branch said:

Congratulations to EFRA branch for this initiative. The beauty of a 15 minute protest is that it does not involve a ballot as no money is lost. In fact Francis Maude encouraged it on November 30th! Our members know all the arguments on why cuts are not necessary, particularly in our line of work. We understand that if the £120 billion that is avoided, evaded or simply not collected every year because of lack of staff is to be collected, then actions as well as words are needed. We are asking for class action on the 14th November and encourage other unions and campaignin groups to take similar action in that day

28 October 2012 at 8:06pm
Dave Plummer – PCS R&C Euston Tower Branch Organiser said:

I think the important thing here is to make sure this isn’t just a one-off protest. We need sustained action, from walkouts to, ultimately, strike action and being a persistent PITA in between.

Reason and empathy are strangers to this government (not that the bunch on the other side of the HoC are much better) so direct action is one of the only avenues left to us.

WEll done EFRA Southern Branch for getting the London ball rolling!

29 October 2012 at 6:07pm